SEC bowl notes: Auburn vs. Penn State

The SEC will be represented by Auburn (8-4, 5-3) in the Capital One Bowl. They will take on the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-3, 5-3) of the Big Ten. The game will be played Wednesday at the Florida Citrus Bowl (70,000) with kickoff scheduled for 1 pm (EST). ABC will televise.

Auburn Tigers

Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, 1976)
Record at Auburn: 29-18 (.617) / 4th season
Overall Record: 54-38 (.587) / 8th season
In Bowl Games: 1-2 (.333)

National Rankings: #19 - AP / #22 - USA Today-ESPN
Auburn in Bowl Games: 14-12-2 (.536)
Auburn in Capital One Bowls: 2-1 (.667)
Last Bowl Appearance: 2001 Peach (lost to North Carolina, 10-16)
Last Capital One Bowl Appearance: 2001 Citrus (lost to Michigan, 28-31)
Formations: Offense - Pro Style Defense - 4-3

Key Auburn Players

LB Karlos Dansby (6-5, 218, Jr., Birmingham, Ala.)
Unanimous first-team All-SEC selection ... Credited with 70 total tackles (28 solos) with 13 for losses (-50), including four sacks (-33) ... Also had three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries ... Named SEC Player of the Week against for his efforts against LSU earlier this season ... In 23 career games, Dansby's efforts have resulted in 44 points and led to two game-winning field goals.

C Ben Nowland (6-3, 298, Sr., Ponte Vedra, Fla.)
Unanimous first-team All-SEC selection ... AU offensive line has allowed just 19 sacks on the year, compared to 30 during the entire 2001 season ... The line has also helped the ground attack average 204.0 yards per game, the highest Auburn rushing average per game since the 1993 season.

S Travaris Robinson (5-10, 193, Sr., Miami, Fla.)
Consensus first-team All-SEC selection ... Second on squad with 85 total tackles (38 solos) ... Also had three sacks (-6), four interceptions and three pass deflections ... Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Alabama earlier this season.

LB Dontarrious Thomas (6-4, 223, Jr., Perry, Ga.)
Logged 84 total tackles (30 solos) with 10 for losses (-28), including two sacks (-15) ... Also recovered two fumbles ... Named second-team Verizon Academic All District IV ... Had nine-or-more tackles in five games, all against Top 25 teams.

Auburn Team Notes

  • This is Auburn's third straight year in a bowl game ...
  • The Tigers are on a two-game bowl losing streak, having last won against Clemson (21-17) in the 1998 Peach Bowl ...
  • Three of Auburn's four losses were by a TD or less ...
  • The Tigers have won a share of the SEC Western Division for the third straight year ...
  • In Auburn's eight wins, Tiger defense has allowed an average of 298.9 yards per game ...
  • In it's four losses, Auburn has allowed 401.8 yards per game.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Head Coach: Joe Paterno (Brown, 1950)
Record at Penn State: 336-99-3 (.771) / 37th season
Overall Record: 336-99-3 (.771) / 37th season
In Bowl Games: 20-9-1 (.683)

Conference: Big Ten
National Rankings: #10 - AP / #10 - USA Today-ESPN / #12 - BCS
Penn State in Bowl Games: 23-11-2 (.667)
Penn State in Capital One Bowls: 1-2 (.333)
Last Bowl Appearance: 1999 Alamo (def. Texas A&M, 24-0)
Last Capital One Bowl Appearance: 1998 Citrus (lost to Florida, 6-21)
Formations: Offense - Multiple Defense - Multiple

2002 Penn State Schedule/Results:

8/31 Central Florida W, 27-24
9/14 Nebraska W, 40-7
9/21 Louisiana Tech W, 49-17
9/28 Iowa L, 35-42
10/5 at Wisconsin W, 34-31
10/12 at Michigan L, 24-27 (OT)
10/19 Northwestern W, 49-0
10/26 at Ohio State L, 7-13
11/2 Illinois W, 18-7
11/9 Virginia W, 35-14
11/16 at Indiana W, 58-25
11/23 Michigan State W, 61-7

Key Penn State Players

TB Larry Johnson (6-2, 222, Sr., State College, Pa.)
Just the ninth player in NCAA Division I-A history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season (2,015) ... Winner of the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards for the nation's top collegiate player and also won the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back) ... Also finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

DT Jimmy Kennedy (6-5, 330, Sr., Yonkers, N.Y.)
Named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year by the league's coaches ... Accounted for 78 total tackles (46 solos) ... Also had 15 tackles for losses (-33 yards), including five sacks ... Also named to Walter Camp and Sporting News All-America Teams.

Penn State Team Notes

  • Joe Paterno leads all Division I-A coaches in wins (336) and is third among coaches in all divisions ...
  • Paterno's bowl win percentage (68.3, 20-9-1) is third amongst coaches with 11 appearances ...
  • Among teams that have been to bowls a minimum of 10 times, Penn State has the nation's best win percentage (.667).

Series/Game Notes

  • Series Record: PSU leads, 1-0
  • Last Meeting: PSU, 43-14 (1/1/96 at Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla.)
  • In only meeting of the series, Penn State scored 40 unanswered points after Auburn took a 7-3 lead in the second quarter for a 43-14 win ...
  • PSU's Bobby Engram was the game's MVP with four catches for 113 yards and two TDs ...
  • Stephen Davis led the Tigers with 119 yards rushing on 12 carries ...
  • Penn State limited Auburn to 94 passing yards ...
  • PSU outgained Auburn, 487-314 ...
  • Penn State is 15-15 (5-8 vs. Alabama, 1-0 vs. Auburn, 0-2 vs. Florida, 1-0 vs. Georgia, 3-2 vs. Kentucky, 1-0 vs. LSU, 2-0 vs. South Carolina, 2-2 vs. Tennessee, 0-1 vs. Vanderbilt) against the SEC all-time ...
  • Auburn is 4-2-1 all-time against the Big Ten.

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